Thorn apple

Alternative names 
Angel’s trumpet; Devil’s weed; Jimsonweed; Tolguacha

Definition
Poisoning from sucking the flower nectar, eating the seeds, or drinking “tea” made from the leaves. The plant also is known as Jamestown weed, thorn apple, stinkweed, Datura, and moonflower.

Poisonous Ingredient

     
  • hyoscyamine  
  • atropine  
  • hyoscine (scopolamine)

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Where Found

     
  • The poison is found in all parts of the plant, especially the leaves and seeds. Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Symptoms

     
  • body as a whole       o thirst       o headache       o fever       o dizziness       o urinary retention  
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o blurred vision       o dry mouth       o dilated pupils  
  • skin       o red skin  
  • gastrointestinal       o nausea       o vomiting  
  • heart and blood vessels       o rapid pulse       o elevated blood pressure  
  • nervous system       o hallucinations       o convulsions       o delirium       o coma       o death

Home Treatment
Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by Poison Control or by a physician. Contact Poison Control Center for appropriate treatment.

Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:

     
  • the patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • the name of the plant  
  • the time it was swallowed  
  • the amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Bring the plant with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room
Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

     
  • activated charcoal and a laxative may be administered  
  • induce vomiting  
  • gastric lavage  
  • medications given to counteract the effects of the toxins  
  • cool water sponge bath to decrease fever  
  • monitor vital signs

Expectations (prognosis)
The prognosis (probable outcome)

     
  • Possible outcome depends on the amount consumed, the age of the individual, and the time elapsed prior to proper medical care being administered.  
  • Symptoms last for 1-3 days and usually require hospitalization. Death is unlikely.

 

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 3, 2012
by Levon Ter-Markosyan, D.M.D.

Medical Encyclopedia

  A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | 0-9

All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.